"Uh oh, That's not good."
"I already think I'm going to win. That's not good."
"Why" he asks in disbelief and with confusion.
"Because I'm not suppose to think ahead."
"Well, that's better than thinking you are going to lose!"
What a perspective!
I know I'm suppose to play in the moment, not think ahead when I am down on the shot, don't think of my next opponent before I finish the game I'm on, etc. I'm not suppose to think "I"m gonna win" if I'm ahead 5-2. I know all this. I know I'm not suppose think about an outcome before it happens - I need to stay in the moment (focus only on the shot in front of me) and not get ahead of myself, or else I (you) get complacent, lazy, and lose focus on the task at hand.
But wow was he surely correct in his statement to me!
Even Denis Waitley in the Psychology of Winning talks a lot about positive affirmation and positive self expectancy and positive self motivation. "These are the keys to a winner," he states. I love his self-help audio tapes and even tho I listen to them with all my might, I still agonized with this:
I have struggled in believing I'm a winner when I walk into the pool room for a tournament, and yet not getting ahead of myself to play in the moment. As we all know, thinking ahead can be detrimental to your game. But believing in yourself is cleverly similar but shockingly very different.
That moment he told me that - I finally was able to separate the two!
It was an aha moment for me, for sure!